When Paul prayed for “God’s holy people in Ephesus, who are faithful followers of Christ Jesus” In Chapter 3 of his letter to the “Faithful followers” He asks God for the congregation, “Power in the Spirit” that the “Love of God ” can be understood. Too bad he did not pray that we could understand theology then we would not have a problem understanding how silly the stuff we argue over. Some do not argue they simply walk away confused, hurt, damaged by the very people that should be sharing healing and comfort. People try and forget they are a Spirit created by God for His pleasure. Our Ego screams “Me” “Mine” “All mine” God tolerates no opposition to His Love, He remains a Jealous God. It is easy for them to slip back into the world. The “Root of Bitterness” grows fast in poor, rocky soil of discontent, Sheep will wander into those places when the shepherds are more focused on the rules, rituals, and tithe than the one the “tithe” was to benefit. These are the “Hired Hands” Jesus spoke of that are in charge for power and the control of others. Some people are so done with the “church” of today they are never going back to a structured religion unless someone drags their coffin into one. The hype, the divisions of men and many other reasons, the “Dones” are done. Most “Dones” and “Nones” will never see the inside of another grand church building. This one prayer of Ephesians 3:14-21 has all the necessary elements of Ekklesia. This prayer of Paul for the Christians of the Church has all of God’s Power the Church needs. Read it here, click on the underlined text. “I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.”Ekklesia /Church,Greek root word. Not a location in use of text.
Do you believe this humble prayer? Does everyone around you know these Truths that Paul asked for to equip the “Royal Priesthood” of the “Living Stones” Some will only be happy with traditions and build on sand with straw. Be radical build on the Rock with living stones? BTW The “Church” in some translations is the congregation, the people, the Ekklesia, never a location or organization state/political type church in the first century. What are you to do? Peter sez,https://www.biblestudytools.com/1-peter/2-12.html
Paul prayed for the ekklesia of Ephesus in Eph 3: This will be my prayer for you followers of Jesus.
Paul writes: “When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth. I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.”
Who was the worlds super power in 1900? Largest Navy, Empire, Army, World Financial centers? What did America know in 1890s that we don’t know we need to know? Ans. Great Britain, the other nations of Europe that had been in power were in declines and by wiping out the middle class to pay for wars had bankrupt their respective empires. Jesus said “Wars and rumors of war” . If we use the time measurement of the new agreement as correct, I figure America has maybe enjoyed 20 yrs between major warfare since 1800s. Of course the American of 1890 was the cowboy, worlds policeman like our president Teddy Roosevelt. Most of the generation in power had fought with their brother and each had bloody noses and missing limbs. Many would suffer the shame of what they had done to this day. Most felt it was our “Manifest destiny ” to ride to the rescue like a “Cowboy” policeman. In the 1890s Columbia was rising. Britannia held an iron grip on Her Empire, enslaving millions for profit, Her Majesties’ family held Europe in it’s oppressive hold. More people enslaved. History shows that man’s greed for gold, power(oil, salt, fish, etc) and control were the same as in our time, or Jesus’ time. Where is our persecution, our discipline, our “rod and staff of the Good Shepherd” Are we so lost a sheep he can not find us? Or has He left us to flounder in our wilderness? Are our hearts so hard that we can not see “That it is not all about me”? Our lack of repentance/obedience attitude may keep us in the prodigal mode. Or as Jesus sez “Lukewarm is not nice” Or Are we so frustrated by man’s religion ” the hired hand’s “, grand temples while homeless starve, cold in the street? Or miffed man’s many little god’s did not come through for you? Missing out on the Health Wealth and happy times “Get rich” Pastors preach? We have been hurt in our “churches” taken advantage of and out right duped by “Wolves” the Sheep with the voice of the dragon, and naive brainwashed traditionalists types, fans on gameday, the “Don’t Know, don’t care”, the apathetic church goer, and the clicks that are cults with in denominations of the divided daughters of the whore of Babylon, False prophets, reverends, pastors Preying on the sheep. What can you and your people, your neighbors, your family do? You form community, you care for one another. Every 501c “Church” in America should evaluate “Who is my neighbor?” Is the community around me cared for as much as I am able? Do I respect and honor my neighbor as a human just like me created in God’s image? What did followers of Jesus believe in the 1890s? about the world around them? Click the link to a record. https://www.ccel.org/ccel/johnson_bw/pnt.pdf
A study of Eph 3 reads that Jesus gives all power to those that obey His commands. All the old laws are covered, all the pharisaic laws are optional, sometimes good advise, none are binding on the new covenant believer. The problem is when a nation or a person uses an old covenant practice to enslave, make war, infanticide, genocide and claims God told them it was OK cause the nation is evil. Even other gods have people that go off and kill for not a godly reason, but to expand empires. Pol Pot in a Buddhist nation turned a country upside down and Satan got his due of many good people. The “World Police” were not around to prevent this genocide because they had just lost a few other colonies at a high cost of their children and their children’s, children. (Just ask mine what it cost to have a war you could not vote for affect you) The human pain is our part and parcel we carry in this life of physical time/space. Jesus sez “Lay down those burdens, all of them, everything and take up His cross. Only then can we forgive as He forgives and love as He loves.
Jesus loves me always, all days, all of His Ways, myriads of ways, always with love.
Free edition and download. We would like to discuss as a group of elders, deacons, and humble servants of God the birth of the Ekklesia of Christ. Not to form a new group or divide but to seek truth and unity as Jesus prayed for. We/I have to start somewhere and this was written as a bible college textbook for most of the schools of the time, 1890s . No mention of a rapture, Written before all the cults, wars and divided denominations of the last 200 yrs. Acts is commented by an eye witness to Palestine of the 1800s. Who would like to discuss this and other documents relating to first century of the new covenant? http://www.ccel.org/ccel/johnson_bw/pn
Pieces of the Cross, side notes, you are reading half of the conversation, just like all the letters in the NT.
God’s law of physics/science rules the universe. There is no such thing as luck. To attribute Luck with God is to have an idol of a lesser god. The follower of Jesus is the temple of the Holy Spirit of God. We can transcend the physical laws to worship in Spirit. I commune with God with out a cell phone, no altar but my bent knee, no mediator save Jesus. He communes with me via His Word in many forms and ways. Never does He contradict the plan and purpose. Gal 5:14 one rule overall. If you have to have physical evidence or must hold something see something, or be somewhere then your god is limited in time /space and may not save you. We must learn to walk by faith. (Action word)
Comment on the Dr Bart Erhmans class; Forgive my ignorance. I now understand the laff. Would you care to comment on the atheist allegations he makes or points he makes that actually are evidence that demands a verdict? He believes in a historical Jesus without giving Jesus credit for the Resurrection, yet he can’t deny the Resurrection as he has no evidence to prove Jesus did not rise. If he had the evidence of a dead never risen Jesus it would be out there in all the media. Have you read this restoration movement teacher from before? https://www.biblestudytools.com/comm…/the-fourfold-gospel/
Answer to a teacher saying “Jesus Spilled his Blood” “Calling what Jesus did for us an accident, spilled blood” I take great offense to your reducing the master plan of God to an accident on human terms. Jesus did not spill his blood nor did the woman spill anything. The vase was broken as it was old and never to be used again in the other account. I attended Atlanta Christian in the 70s, now I see most have adopted the designs on mixed covenants and trappings of the divided daughters of the whore of Babylon. Millions of followers look the lookout to be our flagpole. Please run up the Truth flag and not the world’s message that our God makes mistakes and spills stuff like a child.
Jesus was above the Jewish norm of the day in the treatment of women. Looking at the big picture, In the Gospels I see that Jesus was very respectful of women, treating them as equals as much as the social setting allowed. Using them as reliable witnesses, perfect choices as mothers for God’s plans, and faithful disciples.
In an Elders meeting of a small Restoration Movement congregation we were serving back in the 80s an elder asked for some of our members if our teenagers, young women and men, could serve the communion and help with some of the worship meetings. Of course, several elders protested that that was not right. “We never done that” and so forth! Of Course, Elders should question and investigate every thing the congregation does as a Body of Christ. However, Carried to extreme, this can result in nit picking and bickering over stuff that the deacons should be doing. This is why you involve the Holy Spirit in selection of elders and deacons. Jesus should be the only High Priest at your meetings anyway. With out the Holy Spirit leading all decisions of the elders and deacons about the “Club” they control may make it a great benevolent organization but it is not the Ekklesia made up of the followers of Jesus unless He is allowed to direct and obeyed. The Ekklesia may be found in those organizations but they are not representing His Body, Ephesians 4: . Followers are the Church of God that has no man made temple or building for a home, but is found in many homes of many people that love one another because of Jesus. I asked the people gathered at our meeting this question for the elders. “What kind of former sinners do you want to serve the Body? The teenagers are just as we are, forgiven sinners.” ” We (that board of elders and deacons) decided then that a follower (Gal 3:26-28) of Jesus could be a servant at any position the Holy Spirit qualified them for as long as they were obedient to the elder’s( always plural number of men in NT) decisions for the congregation.( we don’t see the rise of the Bishop and division of Clergy until 3rd Century corruption, Cardinals and other offices are much later) In other words all the teachers, every one of the preachers are under the supervision of the shepherds of the flock. When you have one man as the pastor of a congregation, if he is in control, He must be driving the flock or if the sheep are in control, the flock is driving him. He will be surrounded by people that support him for what they get. If the needs are not met, people will go where they are met. Do the people need entertainment, milk and have itching ears? Do they need the living Word and seek Jesus? If the preacher is a humble man and wants to please God he will lead his flock to springs of pure water of life and protect them from the doctrines of men and pagan religions. If Paul can entrust the letter to the Roman Ekklesia to a woman serving as a deaconess of the Ekklesia, I can trust my Sister in Christ to serve our local congregation in the gifts she is given. Can she serve as an Elder? Not according to what I read. Can she teach or preach? Yes, if the elders approve as with any teacher or preacher. IMHO this is what I teach quoting only New Testament. I could cite early first century writers on this. We only see women dishonored in the later centuries after the male dominated societies took control of the state churches. All of the first century in the church despite persecution, was looking up for the status of women over where the Jews and pagans had placed them, state/political based religion tended to suppress that effort because of the desire to control. Example would be requiring extreme dress rules, attendance, contraception rules or forbidding to marry. Just because the Corinthian Church had problems with the Roman/Greek culture does not mean we have a permit to act like the world in anything we do. Nor should we take up the many specific problems of the Church of Corinth as if we are them in any way except in Jesus Christ. Read Corinthians with prayer that you can see it as a gentile former pagan would hear it read during the next Lord’s day meeting where you might consider your “church”. Pray and read the whole two letters. What would the downtown Corinthian congregation think about our lifestyle, our worship? Our acceptance of the morality of our culture? Answer these questions??????
Does your group/church/congregation/AKA “Church” serve the community by meeting the daily needs of the local neighbors?
Does your Church serve the needs of the widows and orphans? I will include orphans that are in the womb and out. I will include any person that is orphaned by life, alone and lost nearby, your neighbor, my neighbor. Expecting one “Shepherd” to see after the whole flock is ridiculous, God provides a structure of elders and deacons, teachers, evangelists, and care givers. What is your gift and how does your group use you and your gifts in His service?
Jesus used the sheep and the goats in His teaching. I have owned both and have great respect for what Jesus taught. Sheep are on the good side of God, goats, not so much. Seem they are always scapegoats and turned out into the wilderness because of sin. I don’t want to be a goat. Own sheep for a few years. If any survive your treatment you might consider being a servant in the court of the King. You will understand the metaphor clearly. What are the sheep and goats divided over?
Does your group grow and disciple? Pray to the Lord of the Harvest.
Now is the time to come out of divided denominated daughters of the whore of Babylon and see Jesus in the eye of your neighbor. Form community with your friends, neighbors and serve God by obeying one law Gal 5:14 all the rest is religion. Follow Jesus, love your neighbor. meet with your neighbors and pray for each other. Read God’s Word, avoid the many voices of the world. Drink the Living Water from the Spring, the Rock of Ages, don’t drink out of the Nile or the Jordan. Follow God’s Word as did Na-man the Syrian in simple non theological Gospel obedience. Reject rules and rituals of bondage.